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LISA... is a parent support and lobby group, for parents and families with a family member having an intellectual or multiple disability, and living in a supported accommodation group home in the State of Victoria, Australia.
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Monday, July 29 2013

Comments from a staff team who ran a DHS
group home like it was their own business

Practical Active Support:

Active Support is an approach aimed at supporting people with disabilities to become more involved in the day-to-day activities within their home.

A number of DHS houses have had staff undertake training, and piloted the approach. A staff member from one such group home, back in 2005, made the following observations about the implementation of the approach.

Residents:

The residents are all interested in the activities and seem to really enjoy the positive nature of these interactions.  Boredom has been greatly reduced and there has been a decrease in challenging behaviours. The environment in the house is happier, with more opportunities for residents and staff to engage in positive activities and interactions. In fact, one of the residents now frequently congratulates himself with phrases such as "Good work" and ‘Good cook’.

Staff:

It quickly became obvious that this initiative would be very much "staff driven" and that the success (or lack of) would be directly influenced by the imagination, enthusiasm and determination of staff to put in the thought and effort required.

It was necessary for us to adjust our way of doing and thinking to accommodate the concepts of active support. This is an ongoing process, but we have gradually ‘grown’ into these new habits and this is happening at an ever-expanding rate.

The most significant change for staff has been in our perceptions of how we see the people we work with. We are now definitely more "ability" orientated in the way we look at the residents.

Instead of looking at the challenges that some people's disabilities present, we are now looking at what each person may be capable of, and presenting the activity in a way that is most likely to succeed and be enjoyable.

We have also greatly reduced the amount of tasks that we automatically carried out on the resident's behalf. Instead, it has virtually become automatic to look at how we  can involve any or all of the people living in the house”

Posted by: HATTON AT 04:54 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 08 2013

The majority of DHS supported accommodation group homes have two basic funding avenues, (a) support service funding (staff wages and overheads) and (b) service management funding (day to day resident living expenses).

In this evaluation, we will consider just the service management funding, which    originates mainly from money paid into the residents’ trust fund, which is managed by State Trustees.

Each resident of the group home pay an amount each month to their trust fund.  This amount is equal to cost of the three components in their financial statement, which is produced by the house supervisor.  The three components are, rent, housekeeping and personal expenditure.  In dollar terms, the range is around, $800 to $1000 per month.

State Trustees send the rent component directly to DHS.  The housekeeping and personal expenditure components are sent to card accounts at the house – the group home.

There is, however, a small difference between the amount received by State Trustees from the resident’s administrator  (from their DSP), and that sent to the house.  The positive difference is kept in the residents trust fund for special requirements.  This money can be accessed by the house supervisor, but only with the authority of the resident’s administrator signing a special purchase request form (this is the first slush fund).

The personal expenditure money paid to the house by State Trustees from the resident’s trust fund, is paid into a house card account, and is accounted for on the CERS forms, a copy of which is sent to the resident’s administrator.

The housekeeping money paid to the house by State Trustees from the resident’s trust fund, is paid into a house card account, and is used to purchase food items, household items and pay utility accounts, etc, etc.  When the excess in housekeeping account gets to a DHS determined level, this money is sent back to State Trustees to be kept in an account to cover any unforseen financial circumstances.  Justification for withdrawal from this account is a special purchase form signed by all administrators. (this is the second slush fund).

CERS (Client Expenditure Recording System) Manual

Posted by: HATTON AT 09:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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